• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

Motorola Moto X 2014 Review - Photo 1

The Motorola Moto X (2014) doesn’t have much to live up to. The original Moto X was a decent phone but notable mostly for its Moto Maker customisation and a handful of innovative features, all of which are back here alongside a wealth of improvements. But is that enough to make it stand out in a crowded market? Read on to find out.

Screen

Moto X 2014 Review - Display

The Moto X (2014) has a 5.2 inch 1080 x 1920 AMOLED display with a pixel density of 424 pixels per inch. That’s all pretty much par for the course as far as flagships go, putting it on the larger end of the spectrum and lacking the QHD display of a phone like the LG G3, but still delivering sharp visuals.

Its use of AMOLED technology makes it bright (though not quite as bright as the Super AMOLED Galaxy S5) and it’s a substantially better viewing experience than the one provided by the 720p screen found on the original Moto X. While that phone never quite felt like a flagship this one does.

Design

The Moto X (2014) really excels in the design department. With Moto Maker now available in the UK you have a choice of exotic materials like leather and bamboo for the back and you can deck it out with custom colours and even an engraving if you like.

Moto X 2014 Review - Photo 2

Whatever you choose the whole thing is held together by a metal frame, so you get a relatively unique looking smartphone that has a premium design. It even has a water resistant coating, so it should be able to survive a spill or a bit of rain, but it’s not as waterproof as the likes of the Xperia Z3, so don’t take it swimming.

At 140.8 x 72.4 x 10mm and 144g it’s fairly light but not the slimmest phone around. It doesn’t feel overly chunky though, certainly not enough to detract from the overall appearance.

Power

With a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 2GB of RAM the Moto X (2014) is certainly powerful, but it has specs more in line with a flagship from the beginning of the year, such as the HTC One M8, rather than those that came out later in the year, like the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

In fact its specs are identical to those of the Samsung Galaxy S5, but if anything its performance is marginally better, thanks to running a bloat-free interface close to stock Android.

Camera

The Moto X (2014) has a 13 megapixel snapper with a dual-LED ring flash. It might sound impressive but it disappoints in practice, particularly in low light, where pictures come out rather grainy. It’s not terrible but it doesn’t feel flagship worthy.

Moto X 2014 Review - Photo 4

Video is a little better as it can record 2160p video at 30fps, but that also struggles in low light. The 2 megapixel snapper on the front isn’t anything to write home about either. It’s all an improvement over the cameras on the original Moto X, but if you really care about smartphone photography you’re better off with an iPhone 6, LG G3, Xperia Z3 or Galaxy Note 4.

Features

Gesture controls are certainly a highlight of the Moto X (2014). Flick your wrist twice and the camera launches, wave your hand in front of the screen to see the time and recent notifications and make a similar motion to snooze alarms. They’re genuinely handy and intuitive features, which save time and effort.

There are also other features such as Attentive Display, which keeps the screen on when you’re looking at it and Motorola Assist which can put the phone into different modes depending on the time or situation, muting calls in meetings for example or keeping the display dim at night.

Underneath all that the interface is very close to stock Android and all the better for it. It’s clean, responsive and intuitive with none of the bloat found on some other manufacturer’s phones.

Battery life, memory and connectivity

The Motorola Moto X (2014) has a 2300 mAh battery but sadly its life isn’t great and you can expect to be charging this phone every day. While if you have visions of gaming or watching films on it you’d best carry a charger with you because it’s unlikely to even last till nightfall.

There’s a choice of 16 or 32GB of built in storage but there’s no microSD card slot, so that’s all you get, which is always a disappointment, especially when the on board memory is capped so low.

For connectivity options there’s Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC, so it’s a well-equipped phone in that sense at least.

Verdict

The Motorola Moto X (2014) is a substantially better handset than last year’s model and in most ways it’s a great phone. It has one of the most stylish designs around and being able to customise it makes it all the better.

Gesture controls and clever features also help it stand out and while it doesn’t have a top tier screen or specs both are still very good despite a price tag of just £419.99, which is a good £80 less than most flagships.

Sadly its camera is less than impressive and its battery life is average at best, both of which hold it back substantially, but if you’re not a heavy user (or are happy to charge it regularly) and aren’t fussed about photos then this is a great option.

Specifications

Specifications

Dimensions : 140.8 x 72.4 x 10mm

Weight: 144 grams

Screen size: 5.2” AMOLED (1080 x 1920)

Screen Resolution: 1080 x 1920 display resolution

Pixels Per Inch (PPI) : 424

Processor: Quad core application processor

RAM: 2 GB

On-board Memory: 16/32GB

Camera: 13MP (rear) 2160p@30fps, (2 megapixel front-facing)

Operating system: Android 4.4.4

Ultrafast / 3G / 4G LTE: Yes/ Yes/ Yes

Bluetooth / NFC : Yes/ Yes

Battery capacity: 2300 mAh

Colours: Black, White

Launch Date: Out Now

Price: £419.99

 

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